Juicy heart-shaped strawberries have much more to offer beyond sweetness and flavour, they are full of health benefits.
The Strawberry is called ‘The Queen of Fruits’ In Asian countries because it is a sweet superfood. Compared to fruits like apples, oranges or bananas, they have the highest amount of nutrients.
I ♥ Strawberries and I am very happy when they are in season and growing in my garden. Often they don’t get into the fridge as I eat them while picking them.
10 Health Benefits of Strawberries
- Promotes eye health:
Eating three or more servings of fruit like this may lower the risk of macular degeneration. – Study in Archives of Ophthalmology.
Provide nutrients for the Prevention of macular degeneration and eye-related diseases, according to research.
- Boost short term memory:
The anthocyanins boost short-term memory by 100% in eight weeks. – The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. They are actually one of the best-known sources of numerous anthocyanins and phenolic antioxidants, according to research.
- Prevent oesophageal cancer
Studies indicate the potential of freeze-dried strawberry powder for preventing human oesophageal cancer.
- Eases Inflammation
By lowering blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. – Research at the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids which are responsible for the colour and flavour of the strawberry have been found to help. The anthocyanin in strawberries has links to a lower risk of a type of heart attack known as myocardial infarction, a 2019 report advises.
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent & sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.” – Jasmine Heiler
- Promotes bone health
They contain potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium which are important for bone health.
- Low Calories – High Fiber:
One cup contains only 49 calories.
- Anti-aging properties
Filled with have biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. Also contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.
- Good for weight loss:
The compound nitrate found in a strawberry promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body helps with weight loss.
- Helps burn stored fat:
The red colouring contains anthocyanins; they stimulate the burning of stored fat. There was reduced weight gain in animals fed a high-fat diet. – Research, The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Cautions for some people:
Oxalates which are commonly found in animals, plants, and human beings may sometimes cause health problems. Strawberries contain a reasonable amount of oxalates, but when it became too concentrated in our body fluids they will be crystallized causing serious problems on our health.
It is advised that people with existing and untreated gallbladder or kidney problems may want to avoid having them. Research shows that oxalates may interfere with the absorption of calcium in our bodies. But a more in-depth study will need to be conducted to prove this.
They are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits. They are packed with antioxidants, lower blood pressure, and protect your heart. Also, full of essential vitamins and minerals, and are also sodium, cholesterol, and fat-free.
Contains 54 calories in 1 cup of strawberries (sliced, 166g) which is 1/3 of the calories in a banana.
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. – Golda Meir
History of the Strawberry
They have grown wild throughout the world for a long time.
- 234 B.C there is evidence that they grew wild in Italy.
- 1300 – France began cultivating the strawberry for use as a medicinal herb.
- 1400 – European monks start using them for their illuminated manuscripts.
- 1500s references to cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties.
- 1588 – Were discovered in Virginia by the first Europeans when their ships landed there.
- 1643 – Early settlers in Massachusetts enjoyed eating these berries grown by local American Indians who cultivated them.
- Late 18th century – First garden strawberry was grown in France.
- 1835 – First American strawberries were cultivated.
- 1900’s – California began growing them and now produces 80% of the strawberries in the US, one billion pounds a year!
Fun and Interesting Facts
- Folklore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex; you’ll soon fall in love.
- There are more than 600 varieties that differ in flavour, size, and texture.
- Strawberry designs are carved in medieval stonemasons as the sign of perfection and righteousness. These designs are often carved on altars, around the top pillars in cathedral and churches.
- The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shapes and red colour.
- Madame Tallien known as the pronounced figure at the court of Emperor Napoleon was popular for bathing in the strawberry juice of 22 pounds of strawberries.
- Legend has been told that strawberries were named by English children who picked, strung it on grass straws and sold them as “Straws of berries”.
- They belong to the family of rose together with apples and plums.
- The strawberry is not classified as a berry. Blueberries and raspberries have seeds inside while strawberries have their seeds outside.
- They were once thought to be an aphrodisiac and were served in soups to newlyweds in 13th century France.
- Ancient Romans used them to alleviate symptoms of fainting, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, halitosis, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver, and spleen.
- At Wimbledon each year, strawberries and cream are eaten between tennis matches by properly attired English.
How to Buy The Best!
Buy ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES!
If I cannot find or afford organic ones I eat another fruit instead.
Do not buy inorganic ones; nearly 60 different pesticides have been found on a strawberry. They are always one of the top EWG’s Dirty Dozen Foods the fungus prompts farmers to spray, and pesticide residue remains on berries sold even at farmers markets. They are the most chemically intensive crop in California.
When they are organic they taste better and they have more health benefits.
“Organic strawberries had significantly higher total antioxidant activity (8.5% more), ascorbic acid (9.7% more), and total phenolics (10.5% more) than conventional berries” ~ Public Library of Science.
Now, here is what to look for once you have found organic ones.
For full nutrition and flavour, buy them fresh. They need to be firm, plump, have a deep red colour, and have green caps and with a light fragrance.
Once picked, do not ripen further so do not pick those that are dull in colour or have green or yellow patches as they will be sour.
The small strawberry is sweeter and more flavourful. Eat your strawberries as soon as possible.
If you are buying them in a pack, check the package to make sure that there are no signs of mold. Even if there is one molded strawberry do not buy them. Research has shown that molds are linked to health problems and even cancer. Fruits and vegetables with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface.
How to Store Strawberries
It is best to consume them as soon as you harvest or purchase them. Keeping them in the refrigerator will not improve their quality.
- They should be kept at room temperature for a few hours. Anthocyanin which is responsible for the red colour of the berries are heat sensitive, this is the reason for the browning of strawberries under warm temperature.
- The unwashed ones should be stored loosely, covered with plastic wrap, and should be placed on the coldest part of your refrigerator for about 2 days maximum as they lose nutrients quickly.
- Only wash them when ready to consume as they easily perish. To wash the berries, place them in a colander, and rinse them under running cold water. Do not soak them for they will lose their colour and flavour. Do not remove their caps until after you have washed the berries,
- If you want to freeze them; wash them gently, let them dry, and remove the caps. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Place them in a zip-lock bag once frozen. Make sure to suck out all the air and seal. You may keep them in your freezer for up to 6 months.
Learn How to Grow Your Own Strawberries
Strawberries are highly valued as one of the most important small fruits grown in the Western Hemisphere. Every province in Canada and every state in the United States grows the strawberries. They grow wild and we grow them as a cultivated plant.
There are 103 types of strawberry plants according to the United States Department of Agriculture. There are two main types of strawberries are ‘everbearers’ and ‘June-bearers’ (one-crop varieties). My favourite are the everbearers, because they produce berries throughout the summer and fall. I hear they produce fruit during all seasons in Florida. How lucky they are!
If you want large juicy strawberries, grow ‘June Bearing’.
Every June and July when these berries appear into gardens and the farmer’s markets here in Canada, I am reminded of growing a large patch in England. One year I picked 30 pounds. Now, I have a little strawberry patch in my garden that I have been eating every day for 2 weeks.
Planting Strawberries Tips:
Plant strawberry in rich the soil to get a large crop.
- They grow best in a cool, moist climate and do not do well in warm temperatures.
- Plant in the spring or fall before the temperature is too cold.
- Do not plant strawberries near tomatoes, eggplant, peppers or potatoes. These vegetables contain ingredients that could cause the rotting of the strawberry plant.
- Water the strawberry plant with 1 to 2 inches of water per week because 70% of a strawberry plant’s roots are in the top three inches of soil.
- Strawberry plants can grow for 5 to 6 years.
- Not every flower produces fruit.
- As the plant grows it out slender growths called runners that look like strings. They grow on the ground and send out roots in the soil producing new strawberry plants.
- They need at least six continuous hours of sunlight a day.
Watch how to grow your own strawberries:
Tips on How to Pick Strawberries
Hold on to the stem just above the berry and pull with a slight twisting motion.
- Carefully put the fruit into your containers. Do not throw them in as they are fragile.
- Best not to overfill your containers or try to pack the berries down.
“Strawberries are what make life taste wonderful.”
~ Anthony T. Hincks
How to Enjoy Strawberries
As if you need to be told! Easiest is to simply wash and eat them. Yum! The easiest thing to do is put them in fruit salads.
Few of My Favourite Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry Peach Vegan Ice Cream – I had fun creating this easy to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. It is healthy with no big cup full of sugar, just lots of fruit and coconut milk so you can enjoy your summer.
Strawberry Crumble – This delicious crumble recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. I make this from the strawberries I grow, which are of course organic.
Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie – This strawberry peach green smoothie recipe is filled with health benefits and is super easy to make. And of course yummy. It makes an excellent snack during your day.
Strawberry Jam is Refined Sugar-free and Delicious – You will be surprised how this refined sugar-free, packaged pectin-free, recipe tastes so good! We do make our own pectin from the lemons though to help it stick together.
Strawberry MilkShake A classic! Since you are making it yourself you can control the freshness and quality of all the ingredients!
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.